Writing Challenge #14: Adapt the Lyrics


Whether you are studying English in a foreign country, or on your own at home, listening to music is a great way to practice your skills! You can find English music stations online, or listen to English music on sites such as YouTube.

Many people (regardless of religion) sing holiday songs during the month of December. These songs are also known as carols. One fun way to practise writing is to adapt (change) the lyrics of a carol (or other popular song). When you adapt lyrics, you keep some of the original lyrics. The words that you change should still fit into the song with the original tune.

This month we are going to practise adapting song lyrics. You don't have to choose a Christmas song if you don't want to. Choose a popular song that most people will know. You can do this challenge on your own or with a partner.

Your Task
1. Find a MyEC partner (or decide to do the challenge on your own).
2. Choose a holiday song (or other popular song). Here is a large list of lyrics to holiday songs!
3. Change some of the lyrics to the song to make it your own song! (Do one verse or the whole song.)
4. Post the new lyrics on your own blog. Use the blog title: Writing Challenge #14: Your Song's Name
5. If you can find a link to the original song (or lyrics) online add the link from your blog to help readers catch the tune (see my example).
6. Come back and post a link to your adapted song in the comments here.

My Example:
I just posted my example on ESL Magazine. Check out my adaptation of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" here. (This is an easy one to adapt. You can use it too.)

BONUS CHALLENGE: Do you have a microphone? Record your song and upload it to your audio player for all of us to hear! (Or record a video) Will anyone accept this audio challenge?

TIP: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a fun holiday song for practising English. Here is my daughter's favourite version.

Views: 813

Tags: 14, lyrics, music, writing-challenge

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Comment by Fatimah on October 12, 2011 at 8:42
I want to try this link but I don't know how to post it. Thank you for your attention.
Comment by aram on January 9, 2010 at 12:12
i am aram i want to learning english can her any one for froend to enhance my our english
Comment by Nadiyah on December 28, 2009 at 16:45
hello Tara,
I try to use my voice for you, Happy New Year
look at happynewyear

lyrics adapted by happy birthday to you

happy new year to you
happy new year to you
happy new year ... happy new year
happy new year to youuu ...

have wonderful holiday,

Comment by Julio Francisco De Luna on December 28, 2009 at 13:57
This is a great fun challenge for the advanced learner of English. Even for us teachers!
Comment by Cao Nhat Thinh on December 28, 2009 at 13:37
music is so great
Comment by Suela on December 22, 2009 at 21:54
Hi tara, here is my adaptation for the lyrics of "Rudolf the red nosed reindeer". I hope you like it.

Clik here to listen to the original song.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer : Lyrics

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall?
The most famous reindeer of all?

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!

My adaptation

You know how can the past bring your memories fast
It will come if you want to remember the best
But if you recall it, some tears can appear unexpected...

When I was a little child
I used to wait for Christmas day
When my family got together
Celebrating in their way.

Santa Claus and all his reindeer
Filled our imagination
That they would arriving flying
In the sky - What emotion!

That days passed long time ago
But my heart still dreams
That happy moments in my life
I won't never forget, I know.

Today all my dreams has changed
Instead of the dolls and games
Quiet and peaceful life is enough
It's what I want for all my days
Comment by Raj Mario on December 22, 2009 at 12:18
hello Tara...
first of all thanks... u have given such a great suggetion and i think it will work for everybody.. thanks again
Comment by Tara Benwell on December 21, 2009 at 13:47
Yay!!!!! Suela took my personal challenge to adapt Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The lyrics are below. Try to sing along. It's brilliant! Suela, you have a talent for this! If you post this to your own blog too I can feature it so that more members can see it. This song is even better than the original! It's like a grown up version. You made my day. Thank you!
Comment by Suela on December 20, 2009 at 16:49
Hi Tara
I'm glad you have liked it. I love this song, too. If I have enough time, I will write another one, because I always liked to write lyrics.
A very happy Christmas for you.
Comment by Tara Benwell on December 20, 2009 at 2:03
Suela, this song is fantastic! I am very familiar with the tune and I was able to sing along. I'm going to get my daughter to give it a try. She loves that song! Great writing! I'm so happy that many of you have been brave enough to take this difficult challenge.

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